Students at Columbia University are facing a new challenge: paying off their federal loans.
The cost of attending a four-year institution of higher learning has soared.
The average cost of attendance at the prestigious Columbia University School of Law is $28,400, the most expensive in the nation, according to data released Tuesday.
According to the Department of Education’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual cost of tuition and fees at public four- or five-year universities is $20,300, while private four- and five- year institutions charge between $9,500 and $12,700 annually.
The price tag for a four year degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill) is estimated at $34,200.
Columbia University, which is ranked No. 2 in the U.S. News & World Report college rankings, charges students $20.50 per credit hour and offers a variety of financial aid packages, including grants and scholarships.
The school’s undergraduate tuition is $24,900, but students can enroll in the school’s graduate and professional programs.
The average cost for an associate’s degree is $33,700, and a bachelor’s degree at UNC-Chalmette costs $35,300.
Students can choose from eight options in terms of financial assistance packages, ranging from $6,000 to $20 and $10,000.
According the U-M Office of Financial Aid, more than $1.2 billion in federal aid has been provided to undergraduate students, which amounts to $13,000 per student.
However, the university says the federal government is still paying about $2 billion a year in loans, including $3 billion in Stafford loans.
Federal student aid has increased to more than half of what it was a decade ago, and is projected to reach $23 billion in 2021.
More than $8 billion in student loans are outstanding, and there are more than 5 million borrowers.
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